1. Men Were Blessed to Rule and Subdue
God the Creator made man in His own image and gave him the authority to subdue the earth and rule over all living things. This process is recorded in Genesis chapter 2 in detail. God molded man with clay and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Then, God brought the man into the Garden of Eden, where many beautiful trees with delicious fruits were growing.
God let the man rule and protect the Garden of Eden, but made an order. God said, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; ‘but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die'” (Genesis 2:16-17).
Also, God thoughts it was not good that man was alone. So God made a helper comparable to man. God took one of man’s ribs and made a woman. Then, God let them become one flesh. Furthermore, God let Adam give names to all animals and birds.
God, who is the truth and goodness itself, taught the man about Himself and about all things in the universe and rules of the spiritual realm. Since God taught him only goodness and word of truth, Adam obeyed God’s Word and lived in peace for a long time as a man of spirit.
As God blessed him, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth,” Adam and Eve spread their descendants and ruled over everything in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:28).
2. Men Disobeyed by the Temptation of the Serpent
God created men, blessed them, and gave them such great love. He prohibited only one thing, eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which symbolized God’s sovereignty. Except that, God gave them the authority of His children and freedom for them to lead an abundant life.
However, after a long time, man began to neglect God’s command. At this time, the enemy devil, who was waiting for a chance, tempted man through the cunning serpent.
At that time, the serpent was close to man and was loved since it was smooth and clean, long and round. That is why the enemy devil tempted man through this serpent that was the most cunning among all animals and was very close to man.
Even today, we can see that the devil leads people to commit sins through their most loved ones or things.
The devil can temp people to commit sins because they have the motive to commit sins. Therefore, we should always pray and discern with the word of truth so that we will not fall into temptation. Even today people dislike snake because it caused man to fall, and because it became an enemy with man, people feel it is somewhat repulsive.
Then, how did the serpent tempt man so that the man came to disobey God’s Word? The serpent knew that God forbade only eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is why it asked the woman cleverly, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” To this the woman answered, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
God clearly said, “You will surely die.” But the woman answered a little vaguely, “lest you die.” This is the proof that she did not keep God’s Word in her heart and that she did not believe it fully and thus doubted it. So, the serpent tempted the woman more actively by saying confidently, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Finally, man disobeyed God’s Word and ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1-6).
Even today, the enemy devil and Satan works cunningly on those who are not in full assurance of God’s Word. For example, they may ask, “Do you really have to try to gather so much?” “Do you really have to cry out in prayer?” and so on. These things are straightforward words of God that so many forefathers of faith obeyed and put into practice. These things please God, but the devil asks these questions to give doubt to those who do not have firm faith.
Therefore, 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” We have to stand firmly on the rock of truth not to be swayed but win the victory with faith. If we resist the devil in the name of Jesus Christ and dwell in truth not compromising with this world, God protects us. But if we do not dwell in truth, Satan begins to work.
Therefore, as said in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” we have to put on the armor of truth the Word of God so that we can resist and drive away the temptation of the enemy devil and Satan and win the victory. Also, as said in Matthew 5:18-19, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law. We should realize whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, and obey even the least of God’s Word.
3. Men had to fall to death as wage of sin
Because Eve could not resist the enemy devil and Satan, Satan gave her desire through her thoughts. Then, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil looked differently from before. Namely, it was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise. So, Eve ate the fruit and also gave it to Adam for him to eat.
Because she did not drive away the enemy devil and Satan with God’s Word, she could not control her lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of this life. Finally, she committed the sin of disobeying God’s Word. Consequently, according to God’s Word, “You will surely die,” man came to die.
How, then, did man come to die? Man’s spirit, which was the master of man who was made of spirit, soul, and body, died. Therefore, the communication with God was disconnected, and the soul and body came to suffer from the control of the enemy devil and Satan. Also, due to the curse, man could eat only with the sweat of the brow. Woman’s pain in childbearing multiplied and her desire was for her husband, and she had to be ruled over by her husband. The cunning serpent that tempted man to sin was also cursed. It had to crawl on its belly and had to eat dust all the days of its life.
But we all know that snakes do not eat dust. God certainly said it would eat dust, and why is that? Genesis 3:19 says, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” Therefore, dust refers to man who was made from dust. The spiritual meaning of God’s command to the serpent to eat dust is that God let the enemy devil and Satan eat human beings who were made from dust.
Therefore, even if we are God’s children, if we do evil and commit sins, the devil works to bring to us trials and hardships. Luke 4:5-7 tells us the fact that the authority to rule over all nations was handed over to the devil. That is why the devil is walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour and lead them to commit sins so that they will fall into destruction. The devil tries to temp even the believers as much as possible.
Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Adam committed the sin of disobedience, and thus according to the spiritual law that dictates, “the wages of sin is death,” his spirit, which used to be the master of man, died and he lost the image of God. He became a servant of the enemy devil. Now he had to go the way of eternal death not being able to reach God’s glory. Also, because of Adam, all his descendants became servant of sin and had to go to the way of death.